5 Things You Need to Know About Using an Exercise Ball as an Office Chair

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Exercise Ball as a Chair

You can get exercise, strengthen your abdomen and back muscles, improve your posture and even lose weight by sitting on an exercise ball while at work. A teacher of disabled and special education children required each child to have exercise ball for a chair. It helped the children stay focused she said, used up their extra energy and resulted in better behavior. One balance-ball chair owner says she lost weight without any other extra exercise. Because the ball is unstable, it requires the body to maintain stability mostly through the abs and the back.

Start with Short Stints on the Ball

Start out with short stints on the ball, because the fitness ball may not be for everyone. People with weaker backs have found that their backs hurt after spending too much time on the balance ball. Strengthen your back with short doses of balance ball use. This is not a piece of exercise equipment or chair to use overzealously. No longer than a half hour at a time is good way to start out; build up your strength to longer periods of use.

Exercise on Breaks at Work

One of the nice things about using the exercise ball as a chair is that in between work assignments you can do balance ball exercises and continue to get in shape. There are all kinds of video packages, books and free online clips that can help you put together a great workout program to use with the exercise ball. Spend some time practicing and learning these exercises for a great way to get in shape during free time with your portable gym.

Combine Pilates and the Exercise Ball

Learn how to do Pilates exercises with your balance ball. A great way to start is to look at Elisabeth Crawford's book "Balance on the Ball: Exercises Inspired by the Teachings of Joseph Pilates." Here you will learn how to combine the benefits of Pilates core muscle strengthening and balance training with the stability strengthening of the exercise ball. Because a balance ball is by nature unstable and you are constantly building strength and working on balance while sitting on one, Pilates and exercise balls make a nice fit.

Tone Muscle on the Swiss Ball Chair

Sometimes called the Swiss ball, the fitness ball, the exercise ball, the Pilates ball, and the yoga ball--this ball was invented in Italy in 1963 by a toymaker. As you sit on the ball, you will move back and forth, move the ball in little circles, sit up tall and work to keep your balance--all these things build strength and tone muscle.